House Standoff: A Joe DeMarco Thriller

Mike Lawson. Atlantic Monthly, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-8021-5856-7
Edgar finalist Lawson’s tepid 15th Joe DeMarco thriller (after 2020’s House Privilege) finds Joe sitting at home in Washington, D.C., where he reads a newspaper article recounting the shooting death of former love interest Shannon Doyle in a motel in Waverly, Wyo. The police theory—that she was killed by a trucker who robbed her—strikes Joe as weak. Abandoning his regular job as a fixer for Speaker of the House John Fitzpatrick Mahoney, Joe flies to Wyoming to track down Shannon’s killer. Waverly is a typical small western community, where the citizens immediately distrust anyone from out of town, particularly if the out-of-towner is from Washington. The many suspects include an anti-government rancher, the deputy sheriff investigating the murder, and a motel maid. This makes for a lot of investigating by DeMarco, who questions various locals who point him in the right and sometimes wrong directions. The baggy structure has lots of annoying point-of-view shifts, Speaker Mahoney and DeMarco’s usual D.C. friends play only minor roles, and the whodunit reveal fizzles. Lawson’s many fans will hope for a return to form next time. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/13/2021
Release date: 04/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-8021-5857-4
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